Land has long served as an instrument of urban infrastructure finance. Public-private collaboration lies now at the heart of land-based projects. JESSICA is an initiative developed by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank, in collaboration with the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB). Under this initiative, States can use some of their ERDF (Structural Funds), to make repayable investments in projects forming part of an integrated plan for sustainable urban development. In many countries, broader public sector and municipalities own large amounts of urban land that virtually may be a source of land-based financing of urban projects, in many urban locations and many ways. However, land-based financing is in the early stages of development. There are large opportunities for public policies and private sector, but they are not out of risks. This paper identifies some political, institutional and legal risks of land-based financing, regarding the imperatives of the globalized market economy, in Balkan countries. These risks may be misunderstood by the public and private economic agencies that drive JESSICA initiative at the national levels, and thus leading to its deterioration.